Aiming to protect tribals from exploitation by middlemen, Centre is planning to create “strategic public private partnerships” for roping in market forces to ensure value for non-timber forest produce (NTFP)- the major income source of forest dwellers.
Although Public Private Partnership is the buzz word in several sectors and context of development, it is probably less reached in NTFP.
According to the plan, the NTFP collectives’ income could be increased through sustainable harvest and scientific post harvest practices for higher returns and by negotiating better with market forces while also taking up various value addition activities at appropriate levels.
“The intervention envisages strengthening the NTFP value chain on end-to-end basis and creating strategic public private partnerships for the benefit of all stakeholders,” says a concept note prepared by Rural Development Ministry.
Emphasising the need of linking the tribals directly with market players, the note says that the tribal communities have hardly any role in determining ownership, price fixation, value addition and marketing of NTFP and this put them entirely to the mercy of external factors without any bargaining power.
The note will be discussed in a National Conference on NTFP in New Delhi tomorrow.Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh will inaugurate the conference.
“Building community institutions of NTFP collectors and create social capital for creating a new business model around NTFP thereby augmenting the livelihoods of producers; increase the downstream bargaining power etc”.
“This will be part of the major sector growth strategy by transforming the business from unorganised to organised,” says the note.